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Open access

Ladan Younesi, Zeinab Safarpour Lima, Azadeh Akbari Sene, Zahra Hosseini Jebelli, and Ghazaleh Amjad

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders. The aim of this study was to find the correlation between color Doppler ultrasound and serum tests as auxiliary diagnostic criteria in areas where there is no possibility of some tests. A total of 108 patients were enrolled. They were divided into three groups including patients with PCOS, patients with PCOA ultrasound, patients with ovaries and normal hormone tests. Transvaginal sonography was performed from three groups and the results were evaluated in gray scale. The volume of the ovary, the number of follicles and the placement of follicles were recorded using using Doppler spectrum of uterine artery and ovarian stroma. Their arterial resistance index was also calculated. In the next step, serum samples were evaluated to determine the level of LH, FSH, free testosterone, DHEAS and 17-OHP hormones in the early follicular phase. Gray scale ultrasonographic findings (volume and number of ovarian follicles) as well as LH values were higher in patients with PCOS than those in the other two groups. These results proved the reliability of using these factors in the prediction of PCOS. In this study, Doppler indexes did not correlate with the size of the ovaries, the number of ovarian follicles and the measured hormone levels. The findings of transvaginal ultrasound and investigating the relationship with clinical and laboratory outcomes, a more suitable pattern could be chosen for more accurate patient selection and, leading to timely treatment and reducing the complications of the disease.

Open access

Antonina Khoruzhenko, Françoise Miot, Claude Massart, Jacqueline Van Sande, Jacques Emile Dumont, Renaud Beauwens, and Alain Boom

Background

Long-term maintenance of functional activity of thyroid cells is an essential requirement for basic in vitro studies on the physiology and pathology of the thyroid. An important prerequisite of thyrocytes’ functional activity in vivo and in vitro is their follicle organization.

Aim

This study aimed at developing a method of cultivation of functionally active rat thyroid follicles in Matrigel under three-dimensional conditions.

Methods

Undamaged rat thyroid follicles were isolated by enzymatic digestion with collagenase/dispase, then embedded into Matrigel, and cultivated for 2 weeks. Thyroglobulin, thyroxine and zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) localization were revealed by immunofluorescence analysis. Iodide organification was tested by protein-bound 125I (PBI) measurement.

Results

Integrity of the follicles was preserved during the whole period of cultivation and was confirmed by 3D reconstruction of ZO-1 localization. Thyroglobulin was detected in the thyrocyte cytoplasm, as well as in the intrafollicular lumen. Thyroxine was observed predominantly at the apical side of thyrocytes. Also, generated cultures were characterized by a high level of iodide organification: PB125I represented 39% of the total radioactivity in the Matrigel drop embedding the follicles; at the same time, methimazole almost totally inhibited this process (0.2% of total radioactivity).

Conclusion

The method of rat thyrocyte cultivation in Matrigel, as described here allows to maintain the structural integrity and the functional activity of thyroid follicles in vitro and could be used for wide ranges of basic and applied researches in thyroidology.

Open access

Nicolás Crisosto, Bárbara Echiburú, Manuel Maliqueo, Marta Luchsinger, Pedro Rojas, Sergio Recabarren, and Teresa Sir-Petermann

Context

Intrauterine life may be implicated in the origin of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) modifying the endocrine and metabolic functions of children born to PCOS mothers independently of the genetic inheritance and gender. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the reproductive and metabolic functions in sons of women with PCOS during puberty.

Methods

Sixty-nine PCOS sons (PCOSs) and 84 control sons of 7–18 years old matched by the Tanner stage score were studied. A complete physical examination was conducted including anthropometric measurements (weight, height, waist, hip and body mass index). An oral glucose tolerance test was performed and circulating concentrations of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), sex hormone-binding globulin, testosterone, androstenedione (A4), 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) and AMH were determined in the fasting sample.

Results

Waist-to-hip ratio, FSH and androstenedione levels were significantly higher in the PCOSs group compared to control boys during the Tanner stage II–III. In Tanner stages II–III and IV–V, PCOSs showed significantly higher total cholesterol and LDL levels. Propensity score analysis showed that higher LDL levels were attributable to the PCOSs condition and not to other metabolic factors. AMH levels were comparable during all stages. The rest of the parameters were comparable between both groups.

Conclusions

Sons of women with PCOS show increased total cholesterol and LDL levels during puberty, which may represent latent insulin resistance. Thus, this is a group that should be followed and studied looking for further features of insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk markers. Reproductive markers, on the other hand, are very similar to controls.

Open access

Isabelle Flechtner, Magali Viaud, Dulanjalee Kariyawasam, Marie Perrissin-Fabert, Maud Bidet, Anne Bachelot, Philippe Touraine, Philippe Labrune, Pascale de Lonlay, and Michel Polak

Classic galactosemia is a rare inborn error of galactose metabolism with a birth prevalence of about 1/30,000–60,000. Long-term complications occurring despite dietary treatment consist of premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) and neurodevelopmental impairments. We performed with the French Reference Centers for Rare Diseases a multisite collaborative questionnaire survey for classic galactosemic patients. Its primary objective was to assess their puberty, pregnancy, gonadotropic axis, and pelvic morphology by ultrasound. The secondary objective was to determine predictive factors for pregnancy without oocyte donation. Completed questionnaires from 103 patients, 56 females (median age, 19 years (3–52 years)) and 47 males (median age, 19 years (3–45 years)), were analyzed. Among the 43 females older than 13 years old, mean age for breast development first stage was 13.8 years; spontaneous menarche occurred in 21/31 females at a mean age of 14.6 years. In these 21 women, 62% had spaniomenorrhea and 7/17 older than 30 years had amenorrhea. All age-groups confounded, FSH was above reference range for 65.7% of the patients, anti-Müllerian hormone and inhibin B were undetectable, and the ovaries were small with few or no follicles detected. Among the 5 females who sought to conceive, 4 had pregnancies. Among the 47 males, 1 had cryptorchidism, all have normal testicular function and none had a desire to conceive children. Thus, spontaneous puberty and POI are both common in this population. Spontaneous menarche seems to be the best predictive factor for successful spontaneous pregnancy.

Open access

Frederic Schrøder Arendrup, Severine Mazaud-Guittot, Bernard Jégou, and David Møbjerg Kristensen

Concern has been raised over chemical-induced disruption of ovary development during fetal life resulting in long-lasting consequences only manifesting themselves much later during adulthood. A growing body of evidence suggests that prenatal exposure to the mild analgesic acetaminophen/paracetamol can cause such a scenario. Therefore, in this review, we discuss three recent reports that collectively indicate that prenatal exposure in a period of 13.5 days post coitum in both rats and mouse can result in reduced female reproductive health. The combined data show that the exposure results in the reduction of primordial follicles, irregular menstrual cycle, premature absence of corpus luteum, as well as reduced fertility, resembling premature ovarian insufficiency syndrome in humans that is linked to premature menopause. This could especially affect the Western parts of the world, where the age for childbirth is continuously being increased and acetaminophen is recommended during pregnancy for pain and fever. We therefore highlight an urgent need for more studies to verify these data including both experimental and epidemiological approaches.

Open access

Maki Igarashi, Tadayuki Ayabe, Kiwako Yamamoto-Hanada, Keiko Matsubara, Hatoko Sasaki, Mayako Saito-Abe, Miori Sato, Nathan Mise, Akihiko Ikegami, Masayuki Shimono, Reiko Suga, Shouichi Ohga, Masafumi Sanefuji, Masako Oda, Hiroshi Mitsubuchi, Takehiro Michikawa, Shin Yamazaki, Shoji Nakayama, Yukihiro Ohya, and Maki Fukami

Objective

Ultra-sensitive hormone assays have detected slight sex differences in blood estradiol (E2) levels in young children before adrenarche. However, the origin of circulating E2 in these individuals remains unknown. This study aimed to clarify how E2 is produced in young girls before adrenarche.

Design

This is a satellite project of the Japan Environment and Children’s Study organized by the National Institute for Environmental Studies.

Methods

We collected blood samples from healthy 6-year-old Japanese children (79 boys and 71 girls). Hormone measurements and data analysis were performed in the National Institute for Environmental Studies and the Medical Support Center of the Japan Environment and Children’s Study, respectively.

Results

E2 and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels were significantly higher in girls than in boys, while dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) and testosterone levels were comparable between the two groups. Girls showed significantly higher E2/testosterone ratios than boys. In children of both sexes, a correlation was observed between E2 and testosterone levels and between testosterone and DHEA-S levels. Moreover, E2 levels were correlated with FSH levels only in girls.

Conclusions

The results indicate that in 6-year-old girls, circulating E2 is produced primarily in the ovary from adrenal steroids through FSH-induced aromatase upregulation. This study provides evidence that female-dominant E2 production starts several months or years before adrenarche. The biological significance of E2 biosynthesis in these young children needs to be clarified in future studies.

Open access

Marie Lindhardt Ljubicic, Trine Holm Johannsen, Margit Bistrup Fischer, Emmie N Upners, Alexander S Busch, Katharina M Main, Anna-Maria Andersson, Casper P Hagen, and Anders Juul

The ratio between luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) has previously been described as an excellent marker of sex in healthy infants. However, LH/FSH remains not fully described in patients with differences of sex development (DSD). The aim was therefore to describe LH/FSH in infants with DSD. This was a retrospective study of DSD patients, all aged 0–1.2 years. In total, 87 infants with DSD and at least one serum sample per infant were included. Longitudinal samples from single patients were included whenever possible. Serum LH/FSH ratios in these patients were plotted against recently published age-related and sex-dimorphic cutoffs. Overall, LH/FSH sometimes corresponded to assigned sex without any obvious pattern in terms of diagnoses. LH/FSH corresponded to the biological sex in all patients with Turner or Klinefelter syndrome. In patients with 46,XX or 46,XY DSD (except congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)), the ratios did not correspond to the assigned sex in all cases and were interchangeably within the male and female range. In patients with CAH, the ratio corresponded to biological sex (based on sex chromosomes) in some cases but also ranged across the cutoffs. In the 15 patients with 45,X/46,XY mosaicism, the LH/FSH ratios corresponded to the assigned sex in all cases (12 were raised as males, 3 as females) and at all time points in cases with multiple sampling. While this study describes LH/FSH in infants with DSD, the exact clinical role of the ratio in the management of these patients remains to be further elucidated.

Open access

Lian Hollander-Cohen, Benjamin Böhm, Krist Hausken, and Berta Levavi-Sivan

The pituitary gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), are the principle endocrine drivers of reproductive processes in the gonads of jawed vertebrates. Canonically, FSH recruits and maintains selected ovarian follicles for maturation and LH induces the stages of germinal vesicle breakdown and ovulation. In mammals, LH and FSH specifically activate cognate G-protein-coupled receptors that affect the proteins involved in steroidogenesis, protein hormone synthesis, and gametogenesis. This dual-gonadotropin model also exists in some fish species, but not in all. In fact, due to their diverse number of species, extended number of ecological niches, and remarkably flexible reproductive strategies, fish are appropriate as models to understand the co-evolution of gonadotropins and their receptors. In this study, we cloned and characterized the expression profile over the final stages of ovarian maturation of carp (Cyprinus carpio) LHCGR and FSHR. Expression of both gonadotropin receptors increased in the later stage of early vitellogenesis, suggesting that both LH and FSH play a role in the development of mature follicles. We additionally tested the activation of cLHCGR and cFSHR using homologous and heterologous recombinant gonadotropins in order to gain insight into an evolutionary model of permissive gonadotropin receptor function. These data suggest that carp (Cyprinus carpio) gonad development and maturation depends on a specific gonadotropin profile that does not reflect the temporally distinct dual-gonadotropin model observed in salmonids or mammals, and that permissive gonadotropin receptor activation is a specific feature of Ostariophysi, not all teleosts.

Open access

Angela Köninger, Philippos Edimiris, Laura Koch, Antje Enekwe, Claudia Lamina, Sabine Kasimir-Bauer, Rainer Kimmig, and Hans Dieplinger

Oxidative stress seems to be present in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between characteristics of PCOS and serum concentrations of afamin, a novel binding protein for the antioxidant vitamin E. A total of 85 patients with PCOS and 76 control subjects were investigated in a pilot cross-sectional study design between 2009 and 2013 in the University Hospital of Essen, Germany. Patients with PCOS were diagnosed according to the Rotterdam ESHRE/ASRM-sponsored PCOS Consensus Workshop Group. Afamin and diagnostic parameters of PCOS were determined at early follicular phase. Afamin concentrations were significantly higher in patients with PCOS than in controls (odds ratio (OR) for a 10 mg/ml increase in afamin=1.3, 95% CI=1.08–1.58). This difference vanished in a model adjusting for age, BMI, free testosterone index (FTI), and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) (OR=1.05, 95% CI=0.80–1.38). In patients with PCOS, afamin correlated significantly with homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), fasting glucose, BMI, FTI, and SHBG (P<0.001), but in a multivariate linear model, only HOMA-IR remained significantly associated with afamin (P=0.001). No correlation was observed between afamin and androgens, LH, FSH, LH/FSH ratio, antral follicle count, ovarian volume, or anti-Müllerian hormone. In conclusion, elevated afamin values may indicate a state of oxidative stress and inflammation, strongly associated with IR and offering an indicator of impaired glucose tolerance in patients with PCOS irrespective of obesity.

Open access

Andre Madsen, Anders Juul, and Lise Aksglaede

Objective

Klinefelter syndrome (KS) is the most common sex chromosome disorder and genetic cause of infertility in males. A highly variable phenotype contributes to the fact that a large proportion of cases are never diagnosed. Typical hallmarks in adults include small testes and azoospermia which may prompt biochemical evaluation that typically shows extremely high follicle-stimulating hormone and low/undetectable inhibin B serum concentrations. However, in prepubertal KS individuals, biochemical parameters are largely overlapping those of prepubertal controls. We aimed to characterize clinical profiles of prepubertal boys with KS in relation to controls and to develop a novel biochemical classification model to identify KS before puberty.

Methods

Retrospective, longitudinal data from 15 prepubertal boys with KS and data from 1475 controls were used to calculate age- and sex-adjusted standard deviation scores (SDS) for height and serum concentrations of reproductive hormones and used to infer a decision tree classification model for KS.

Results

Individual reproductive hormones were low but within reference ranges and did not discriminate KS from controls. Clinical and biochemical profiles including age- and sex-adjusted SDS from multiple reference curves provided input data to train a ‘random forest’ machine learning (ML) model for the detection of KS. Applied to unseen data, the ML model achieved a classification accuracy of 78% (95% CI, 61–94%).

Conclusions

Supervised ML applied to clinically relevant variables enabled computational classification of control and KS profiles. The application of age- and sex-adjusted SDS provided robust predictions irrespective of age. Specialized ML models applied to combined reproductive hormone concentrations may be useful diagnostic tools to improve the identification of prepubertal boys with KS.